Katherine has a pop at Kiri

Last updated at 08:56 11 March 2008

She is perhaps everything a 'popera poppet' should be, but Welsh diva Katherine Jenkins has not taken kindly to an attack on her genre by Dame Kiri Te Kanawa.

The redoubtable Dame Kiri has branded Katherine's classical-pop crossover style as "fake" in a broadside in which she singled out her fellow New Zealander, 20-year-old Hayley Westenra.

"They are all fake singers,' said 63-year-old Dame Kiri. "They sing with a microphone."

However, Katherine is said to be "very surprised" by the comments, not least because she once collaborated with Dame Kiri.

"We are very surprised to hear this after Dame Kiri sang a duet with Katherine on her Serenade album for not a small fee," says a spokesman.

Katherine, 27, uses a microphone occasionally. "A mezzo soprano's voice doesn't develop until her early 30s," says an aide. "Katherine is looking forward to singing without a microphone in the future."

Vanity father

At an age when most men are contemplating pipe, slippers and the companionship of their grandchildren, magazine editor Graydon Carter is to become a father again.

It will be a fifth child for Carter - 60 next year - and a first for his much younger second wife Anna, the daughter of the Queen's former deputy private secretary Sir Kenneth Scott.

Canadian-born Carter, the long-standing editor of glossy Vanity Fair, has three sons and a daughter from his 21-year first marriage.

"Poor old Graydon will be 80 when the child turns 21 and he's got those years of nappies and school fees all over again," says a sympathetic friend.

The spirit of William F. Buckley Jr, the Right-wing American polemicist who has died aged 82, will live on in his series of popular novels about the CIA agent Blackford Oakes.

The books suggest that Buckley, who had many English friends, such as historian Alistair Horne, did not share the Anglophobe sentiments of his father, a self-made Texas-Irish millionaire.

Was it as a homage to Papa Buckley that in his first Oakes novel, Saving The Queen, the hero - in the course of discovering who sold atomic secrets to the Communists - sleeps with the fictional Queen of England?

Set in 1951, the "beautiful, married, lively" Queen Caroline has just ascended the throne. She was described by one reviewer as "more of a Di than an Elizabeth". Either way, real-life courtiers were reportedly "not amused".

She's all natural

Thanks to her porcelain skin and perfect figure, she has remained a catwalk favourite for 20 years. But Claudia Schiffer has no plans to prolong her career artificially and intends growing old the way nature intended.

"I don't think I would ever want to use cosmetic surgery or Botox," she tells me at the Dom Perignon Oenotheque launch at the Langham Hotel in Portland Place.

"I am all natural - everything I eat is natural and I'm very focused on my diet. It's very important to me what I put into my body, so the idea of putting something in my body that is poison is just wrong to me."

But the German-born supermodel, now 37, adds: "Who knows, one day I might look in the mirror, look at my wrinkles and think 'Jesus!' and want to do something about it. But at the moment, I don't think I'd ever want to."

No sooner does actor Trevor Eve find a bolthole in the countryside, than the former Shoestring star is turning it into a rural idyll.

Earlier this week, an "instant garden" was delivered to the £1million farmhouse, near Midhurst, West Sussex, he shares with his actress wife Sharon Maughan, comprising a lorry load of mature trees and hedges.

Unloaded by Denham-based specialist nursery Tendercare, which has supplied TV gardening programmes such as Ground Force, were hornbeams, a yew, laurel and box.

"It seems he wants to keep his presence in the country discreet," says a local.

PS That alarming picture of a clearly out-of-sorts Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell struggling round a sponsored mile at Westminster is hardly much of an advertisement for health clubs.

I only say this because I learn that Ms Jowell is a devotee of a spa at Grayshott on the Surrey-Hampshire border.

"She books in under the name of Tessa Mills - her married name - and is usually with her friend Baroness Jay," says a fellow visitor.

Perhaps she should book in for the Easter special - a three-night 'Wellness' package - which costs £699.

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